Where Can I Learn to Cook?
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We, as humans, generally enjoy things we think we're good at doing. If cooking at home is something you struggle with, that's okay. It's a skill and, just like any, can be learned. There are so many benefits to learning how to cook at home.
It's less expensive than takeout and delivery.
Cooking is a fantastic way to learn about and nourish your body.
In general, eating at home is healthier than eating out.
Connecting with others, like your partner, roommate, or family, is fun.
Where can I learn how to cook?
There are so many ways to learn how to cook! No matter your learning style, from books to blogs, YouTube videos to podcasts, there's a resource for you. In this post, I'll talk about the five things that have been the most valuable on my cooking journey. Resources I love these and often return to them when I need inspiration or plan to spend a day meal prepping.
A cookbook is best if you want to work through a specific cuisine or cooking vessel (like a crockpot). These books often have a theme or a list of recommended staples to go through the book. Diving into a cookbook is my favorite way to cook.
We have several cookbooks in my apartment, some mine, others belonging to my roommate. You can get books dedicated to a certain kind of cuisine, type of cooking, appliance specific, or any other topic. In some books, I like just a few recipes, others are so perfect, you deep dive in and cook through all of the recipes.
These three cookbooks are most loved in my kitchen:
Cooking at Home: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes and Love My Microwave
by David Chang & Priya Krishna
This book took my cooking skills from okay, to much more confident. While recipes were always mostly just guides for me, I would usually guess when it came to substitutions. This book taught me what different ingredients do in a recipe, how to make substitutions
thoughtfully, and how to use my microwave in more ways than I've ever dreamed.
Indian-Ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna
The newest edition to my collection, Indian-ish, has quickly become one of my regular go-to's. It's bright and colorful and contains some of the best recipes. I enjoy cooking Indian food, and this book's recipes are easy to follow and always delicious.
Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni
I bought this book in 2017 when I first wanted to dive into Indian cooking. I heard about it on Alton Brown's podcast. It's as thick as my old Teen Study Bible and has many recipes. I've been cooking out of this book for years, and each dish is more delicious than the last. I love this book because many recipes are more delicious if they sit overnight, making great for leftovers/meal prep, and freezing well. Learn more on StoryGraph
2. YouTube Videos
There are so many fantastic cooking videos out there. Some are great for inspiration. Some are great if you're looking for something step-by-step. Me, I use these for inspiration and recipe ideas. Most of the folks I enjoy watching tend to cook things more complex than I tend to do myself, but I can still get ideas and inspiration.
My three favorites:
Joshua Weissman, The FitNest, & Epicurious
I love podcasts. While True Crime might be the most popular genre, many food podcasts exist. Podcasts are super motivating when working towards a goal, whether to learn about personal finance or cook more at home. Out of the cooking podcasts out there, these three are my favorite.
The best recipe I ever made from this show was the peanut butter tofu pie. This show is fun because the hosts have great banter. You can watch the attached videos on Spotify, learn about recipes you might now have, and get inspired to try something you might not have before.
I'm not sure if this podcast is accessible in Apple Podcasts anymore, but you can listen to the archive here on this website. This show was my very first food podcast a few years ago, and where I learned about Classic Indian Cooking mentioned above. This one is fun, with many guests you'll recognize if you're anything like me and grew up watching Food Network.
4 . The App SuperCook
Supercook is the app of my dreams, and you can access it from your computer, which is my favorite place to research recipes. There is a list of all ingredients, and you check off what already lives in your pantry. From there, it will recommend recipes based on the ingredients you have at home. It takes a little time to get into a Groove, but some of the best dishes I've ever made have come from this app.
You can filter it to include recipes where you have everything but one or two ingredients, search for a specific ingredient, and so much more. As long as you keep it updated as you use things up and go shopping,
5 . Blogs on the Internet
When you Google most recipes, there are millions of results. It can be overwhelming, and inevitably, some recipes are way better than others. You'll likely have to read about someone's family picnic before getting to the potato salad recipe, but there are some gems out there.
Once you've been cooking for a while, recipes will become more guided inspiration rather than step-by-step instructions, which makes searching the internet for ideas less stressful. I'll search for something, see a few folks take on it, and usually go with whichever matches whatever is in my pantry or some combo of all of them!
No matter where you are on your cooking journey, these resources will help you start leveling up.
What are some of your favorite places to find cooking inspiration? Let me know in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.